Lincolnshire Police might have to make ‘tough choices’ including reducing officers if funding isn’t received

Bill Skelly, Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police
Bill Skelly, Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police

Lincolnshire could see a reduction of police officers if more funding is not provided.

The first ever ‘Force Management Statement’ (FMS) has been made by Lincolnshire Police and states there will be tough choices ahead for the Force if more funding is not provided from March next year.

Speaking about the report, Chief Constable of Lincolnshire, Bill Skelly says that when you are asked to plan four years ahead there are inevitably many unpredictable elements.

He said: “Not least the amount of funding we will receive to deliver our services in the future. As I say in the report, there will be tough choices ahead for the Force if more funding is not provided. The new plan addresses the implications of funding shortfalls.”

One of the choices which may have to be made is the number of police officers.

The number is currently 1,100 and will need to be reduced by 60 and that could include areas such as dog handlers, roads policing, volume crime investigation as well as response and neighbourhood policing. This represents a substantial fall in officer numbers as 10 years ago there were 1,245.

Jon Hassall, chair of Lincolnshire Police Federation, said the taxpayer in Lincolnshire does not get a fair deal and police officers are breaking because of the strain on them.

He said: “This is a sad indictment of what government has done to policing. It’s all very well hearing, ‘favourable comments about how we operate from within Parliament’, but the time for words is passed and we need to see action.

“If we are to lose police officers, and I urge that we don’t, there needs to be a strong focus on telling the public what we will, sadly, no longer be able to do for them.”

Mr Skelly has emphasised that the Force and Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones are continuing to work hard to campaign for a better deal for Lincolnshire.

He said: “Our focus will be on maximising income so that we can continue to provide the best level of service to the people of Lincolnshire.”